THOMASTON – Once called “the most beautiful house in Maine; perhaps the most beautiful house in all of New England,” the 22-room Montpelier estate was built in 1793 by General Henry Knox, Revolutionary War artillery commander and first U.S. secretary of war.
Knox was the hero who dragged 59 cannon nearly 300 miles from Fort Ticonderoga to New York to break the British siege of Boston in 1775, forever changing cannon from defensive to offensive weapons. He later founded the military academy that would become West Point, and even served as acting president of the United States for a few days during a yellow fever epidemic in the capital.
His home featured such luxuries as whale oil chandeliers and a double flying staircase under a huge skylight. Since rebuilt, it is filled with the original furnishings and Revolutionary War mementos; Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Knox hangs above one of the circular marble fireplaces.
There is also the largest collection of furniture by Benjamin Frothingham, a cabinetmaker who served under Knox. Route 1; Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4, Sunday 10 to 1, Memorial Day through September 30; 207-354-8062.